Johnny Depp officially exits Fantastic Beasts 3, the upcoming entry in Warner Bros’ Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie franchise. The actor was a late announced addition to the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them cast just prior to the movie’s theatrical release in 2016, hinting at a surprise role. Once the movie premiered, it was revealed that Depp would play Gellert Grindelwald, the dark wizard who plagued the Wizarding World prior to the rise of Harry Potter’s main antagonist Voldemort. At the end of Fantastic Beasts, Colin Farrell’s Percival Graves was revealed to be Grindelwald in disguise.
Depp reprised the role of Grindelwald in 2018’s Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, in which he was established as the main antagonist to Warner Bros’ prequel film franchise. Based on what was revealed about Grindelwald in the Harry Potter books, the Fantastic Beasts movies were assumed to be building toward the historic duel between the dark wizard and Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law). However, now Depp has exited Fantastic Beasts 3 with the studio confirming he’ll be recast.
On Instagram, Depp released a statement revealing he had been “asked to resign by Warner Bros.” from the role of Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts movies, including the upcoming as-yet-untitled Fantastic Beasts 3. Warner Bros. released a statement as well, per IndieWire, reading, “Johnny Depp will depart the Fantastic Beasts franchise. We thank Johnny for his work on the films to date. Fantastic Beasts 3 is currently in production, and the role of Gellert Grindelwald will be recast. The film will debut in theaters worldwide in the summer of 2022.” See Depp’s full statement below.
In light of recent events, I would like to make the following short statement.
Firstly, I’d like to thank everybody who has gifted me with their support and loyalty.
I have been humbled and moved by your many messages of love and concern, particularly over the last few days.
Secondly, I wish to let you know that I have been asked to resign by Warner Bros. from my role as Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts and I have respected and agreed to that request.
Finally, I wish to say this.
The surreal judgment of the court in the U.K. will not change my fight to tell the truth and I confirm that I plan to appeal.
My resolve remains strong and I intend to prove that the allegations against me are false. My life and career will not be defined by this moment in time.
Thank you for reading.